The Role of Home Care in the Success of your Aging Loved One

Kim Wagner has worked in healthcare for more than 26 years, with eleven of those years being directly in home care. With a background in and passion for service to the elderly, Kim is unceasingly dedicated to ensuring the highest quality of care possible is provided to each and every client. Kim is a Certified Assisted Living Administrator, giving her unique perspective in understanding the benefits of living in your home versus moving to a facility.  Before entering the home care field professionally, Kim began her experience with home care as a family member of a client, where she experienced firsthand how quality home care can be truly life changing. Kim had to navigate the system with minimal help from healthcare professionals, giving her extensive knowledge and experience dealing with the challenges that families and loved ones face.  When Kim was 30, her then-husband David suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The TBI left him in a coma, caused him to have a stroke, and required multiple surgeries. While he was in the hospital and then in acute rehab, the social workers did little to assist Kim in navigating options for David. Kim, with the help of family and friends, spent time researching potential options and speaking with the health insurance company, multiple Congressmen, and members of the Department of Human Services in NJ to try to find resources for David. With limited help and support from medical professionals, Kim and her family figured out how to sign David up for Medicaid, get him into a temporary residential brain injury program, hire a home care agency to provide live-in care for him, and how to order the durable medical equipment (DME) needed for him to live in the home. She was even able to sign him up for a grant with the TBI Fund to pay for his in-home care, which the social workers at the hospital told her not to bother with, as there was no money left in the fund. Generally social workers will help with the aforementioned services, but since Kim and the family were not aware, they didn’t realize they could ask for assistance, and it was not offered.  Because of the live-in care provided by the home care agency, Kim decided to make a switch and started working in home care, first as a case manager, then Assistant Manager and ultimately Manager of the agency. After being laid-off during the pandemic, Kim and a business partner decided to start a home care agency together. Kim bought out the business partner one year into the business. Kim joined the Board of Trustees of The Tender, an adult social day program for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s, in June 2023.